•The warning follows a reduction of some animal species in the Shimba Hills National Reserve which is home to elephants, antelopes, buffalos, baboons, monkeys, giraffes, zebras, ostriches and to over 100 species of birds.
•Those found to be endangering the wildlife species risk a penalty of not less than Sh20 million or life imprisonment.
The Kenya Wildlife Service has warned Kwale residents against poaching wildlife and consuming illegal bushmeat.
The warning follows a reduction of some types of animals in the Shimba Hills National Reserve which is home to elephants, sable antelopes, buffalos, baboons, monkeys, giraffes, zebras, ostriches and to over 100 species of birds.
KWS community senior warden Edward Karanja said they have reports that poachers sneak the meat to the market and unlawfully sell it to the villagers and local bars.
He warned that the wild meat posses a great danger to human life and cautioned the residents against purchasing meat from unreliable sources.
“Wild meat is known to carry many diseases. It would be wise if residents keep off from it,” Karanja said.
The ranger said the meat is normally unexamined, hence not suitable for use.
“The wild meat can be easily identified, so be careful and very selective when buying,” he said.
The officer told the locals not to entertain the prohibited business and shield the wild animals from harm.
“Let’s work closely to heighten the fight against poaching and end the vice permanently,” he said.
Karanja said the government is committed to protecting wildlife, warning of stern actions for both sellers and the buyers specifically the bar owners.
He said KWS officers are trailing the illegal poachers.
“It is just a matter of time before we get these people and charge them in a court of law,” he said.
Those found to be endangering wildlife risk a penalty of not less than Sh20 million or life imprisonment.
The bushmeat is also a major headache to KWS officers in Samburu, Kajiado, Taita, Machakos, Makueni among other areas.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris